9 August 2016

London Boaters Story in Cicero Magazine

In the first few days of May, my wonderful colleague Jakob Horstmann and I worked on a story about London's canal boat occupants. The weather was nice, the people too, and the days passed quickly and productively. Yo hum.

 In this months' edition of Cicero Magazine, the story has been given a 10-page spread - haven't seen that in a while, so thought it's worth sharing. Happy summer holidays!

18 May 2016

When the CEO shoots you...

Normally I'd be very tempted to comment with a health warning like "Don't try this at home", but in the case of Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan, the man knew what he was doing.

Whilst I was trying various angles during our 30-minute portrait shoot at the company's UK Headquarters, he noticed what lens I was using and commented that he also owned that particular piece of glass. An entirely unexpected conversation about photography ensued, during which he revealed that he is a keen amateur photographer interested in landscapes and trees. So without thinking about it too much, I handed him my camera with one of my favourite lenses, the Canon 24/1.4 II.

He took pictures of me and the reporter in the room, and more importantly, it broke the ice and made the whole shoot pleasant and more interesting. I must say that I liked Mr Cryan, appreciated his curiosity and cooperation, and last but not least, his picture of my ugly mug whilst I was setting up.

So - in purely numerical terms - I am guessing that my portrait at the end of this slideshow, taken by the man at the helm of one of the world's largest banks, earning a six-figure salary, has probably cost more than the entire shoot...

4 May 2016

Turkish Delights

It's been more than a decade since I've worked in Turkey - and this time, amid fears of government repression, Greenpeace Turkey did a bold action rigging a giant banner on one of the country's dirtiest coal-fired power plants in Soma. And guess what the banner said? Well, on a play of words, it said 'Grey' and 'Dirty', which in Turkish is 'Gri ve Pis'.

Colleagues in the office may be excused for the funny in-joke, but we weren't excused from climbing the 280-metre high chimney. The international team of climbers was professional, energetic and delightful - see here:

24 February 2016

Arctic Norway revisited

It's a good few years since I've travelled the far north of Norway, and this time we were on a research trip during the polar winter. Yes, that's right: no sunlight at all, and about two hours of moody dusk each day, and 22 hours or darkness. Add to that howling winds, lots of rain/sleet/snow and freezing temperatures, and you are roughly in the ballpark.

In the few days that we didn't have bad weather, we made the most of shooting whales in Kvaloya Sound, flew over a giant oil platform in the Barents Sea, and spent lots of time on the road across northern Norway and the Vesteralen islands. I was glad to have my trusty EOS 6D cameras which operate very well in the dark - as this assignment would not have been possible just a few years ago. Even so, the missing light played havoc at times, and this must be the first trip ever where I had to work without sunlight for a prolonged period of time.

27 January 2016

Winter Wonderland

It's that time of year again - the winter holidays are long gone, Blue Monday is behind us but until spring, it's still a damn long way to go. Being back in the grey and damp of London, I can't help but reminisce about the crisp, cold landscapes of the Czech highlands during winter. Yes folks, it's melancholy speaking, plus the visual poetry of frozen fog, snow and a little bit of sunshine during a few morning walks. Enjoy the views...

18 September 2015

50Cent? Well...

...I don't really know what to say about this gentleman. His wealth is fake, apparently, and he had just filed for bankruptcy protection (strategic, I assume); yet wants to give off this impression of a debonair, sophisticated and clearly posh exterior. I didn't buy it, Bad Boy. Anyway, here's some pics from our cover shoot for Le Parisien magazine:

11 September 2015

Walkin' by the River

At the beginning of summer, I had a very busy period driving up and down the country photographing three rivers across the UK. The first, the Tamar, was located on the border of Devon and Cornwall, the second, the Soar, up in Leicestershire, and the third, the Camlad, in the River Severn catchment area.
To set this in context, my client asked for images to illustrate the various uses of rivers and waterways in the UK - as they are actively working on the EU Water Framework Directive - a project reflecting the demand for cleaner rivers and lakes across the European Union.

Each of these waterways had its own peculiarities: difficulty of access to one, urban & industrial sprawl in the other, and lastly, a very fragmented tributary system in the third. Luckily, I had very good helping hands from the various river trusts to point me in the right direction(s), and the outcome is a very diverse set of images from these three - I won't bore you with all of them, a small pictorial selection should suffice.

9 June 2015

Shooting Sting

As usual, the assignment happened at short notice, and I would spend two days photographing a story with world famous musician Sting in his hometown of Newcastle.

Actually, that weekend had long before been bookmarked for a neighbour's party - but as the saying goes - life is what happens whilst you are busy making plans. So instead of partying on Susie's roof terrace, I had two very busy days in northern England.

We first visited Sting's birthplace, a run-down town called Wallsend (where the famous Hadrian's Wall ends), formerly known for shipbuilding and long past its prime. Later that day, we spent time at the Sage in Gateshead, photographing Sting & ensemble from the back of the auditorium, followed by a late night scouting trip to his hotel for the portrait shoot, then a quick drink at the bar, and finally I tried to catch some sleep in a soulless hotel room surrounded by noises of drunk lads on a stag do - life can be glamorous sometimes.

Anyway, back to Sting. Apart from being incredibly talented and down-to-earth, he was quite shy in front of the camera. We had a brief conversation during which I explained that I was far more insecure than Irving Penn (who famously photographed him with two clicks of the shutter), and thus that I had to shoot more. This made him laugh, however, his various minders had different ideas. As a result, I didn't get more than a few minutes to produce portraits and a cover shot for Le Parisien Magazine - see the results below, followed by a wider selection from the day.

22 May 2015

West African Adventures

Following a publication in the Guardian recently, I no longer need to keep my West African adventures under wraps. Last year in October, we set off from Madeira and spent six weeks monitoring fishing activities off the coasts of Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal.

Shooting mostly from a distance out of a helicopter, but also from unlit boats in the middle of the night with only moonlight for illumination, we obtained plenty of evidence of illegal practices in one of the world's most productive fishing grounds. With the large majority of observed boats being from China and the Far East, it was astounding to see the casual disregard for the environment they were operating in: oil and waste being dumped over the side, trawling in shallow waters and sometimes inside the 12-mile nautical borders, we quickly established that this fishing bonanza is literally a free-for-all who venture there.

Whilst Ebola dominated the news agenda, weak or absent monitoring by the coastal countries of West Africa enables fishing companies to keep large fishing fleets pillaging the ocean off West Africa, outnumbering local boats and their catch.

But it wasn't all bad, we also saw jumping dolphins, whales and stunning weather and here's a little slideshow from the expedition:

7 May 2015

She's called Daphne...

In February, I spent a few wonderful days in the small town of Fowey, Cornwall - I was accompanying eminent French writer Tatiana De Rosnay on the footsteps of novelist Daphne Du Maurier, whom she had written a an impassioned biography about. The longer we talked and walked, and the more details we uncovered, the more Tatiana's persona began morphing into Daphne's...a fascinating process to observe. Here are the results: a nice spread in Le Parisien Magazine, and a few of my favourites...